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End-to-end IT adds up to better prospects for students in Wales

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walesThey say you never stop learning. In Cardiff, they’re really taking the old adage to heart, with a state-of-the-art £45 million addition to the Cardiff and Vale College. The new technology-focused building is end-to-end Dell and delivers the best of e-learning to help the local community keep pace with an evolving world.

Evan Davies, Director of Information Services and IT at Cardiff and Vale College, shares the college’s vision: “E-learning is a key driver in education. We wanted an IT solution that prepared students for higher education, as well as adult learners for the changing world of work.”

The college was keen to standardise on a single IT provider to keep things simple. It started working closely with Dell partner Circle IT to prepare an IT strategy based entirely on Dell that would meet the many needs of learners, staff and IT administrators.

Forget your ABCs. Meet the three As: learning anywhere, anytime and on any device

To prepare students for careers in a rapidly changing world, institutions like Cardiff and Vale College are shifting towards more personalised and collaborative learning – it’s about the freedom to access learning anywhere, anytime, on almost any device. To achieve this, the college had to provide reliable WiFi connectivity and a student-friendly environment. The key? Virtualized desktops.

As part of a wider Dell solution that stretched from data centre to endpoint, the college rolled out a large number of Dell OptiPlex 3020 desktops across the campus. Students and teachers can now download software onto their machines when they need it, via the college’s own software centre.

Students also have the freedom to bring their own devices because, thanks to wireless connectivity, e-learning is now truly everywhere. Says Davies: “A lot of people were impressed with the WiFi connectivity. WiFi was a barrier in the past, but with our Dell solution students and teachers can connect to the network whenever and wherever they are in the campus.” So now there’s no excuse not to do your homework.

IT staff can potentially take more coffee breaks

And IT administrators? They’ve gained an infrastructure that’s easier to manage and monitor. Dell OpenManage Essentials, for example, ensures accurate reporting and monitoring of the platform, giving the team improved insight to help maximise uptime. And there’s no need to sweat about network protection either, with Dell SonicWALL SuperMassive 9200 firewalls, which can detect and block even the most sophisticated threats.

Today, the college is confident that it’s in a better position to provide young people and adult learners with the skills they need to continue their higher education, join the local workforce or simply further existing careers. Mark Roberts, Deputy Head of Cardiff and Vale College, sums it up: “The way we’re preparing students for the future is not as qualifications machines – instead, we’re giving them a wide range of skills to help them become work-ready.”

To find out more about Cardiff and Vale College’s journey to future-ready IT with Dell, see the case study and the video below. Follow #DellStory on Twitter to read about other customer stories.




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Tags: Education, Future Ready, Industries